When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

I thought I would be posting this article in June but it seems we are experiencing August weather in April this year.

Hillsboro Dog Walkers will be keeping your dogs safe from the summer heat.  I have put together some tips to help make sure you have a fun summer with your best friends.

How Do I know if its too hot for my dogs?

When the temperature rises over 80 degrees we need to consider if its too hot.  Some dogs will do fine but be extra careful with dogs in this category:

  • Elderly
  • Over weight dogs,
  • Heart & other health issues
  • Brachycephalic breeds.  “Brachycephalic”, dogs with flat faces, such as  Pugs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Bulldogs.
  • These dogs should not be out on long walks when the temperature gets over 80 degrees.  A brief outing in the shade preferably and some playtime in the backyard is better than a long walk in the heat.

3 Second Hot Pavement Test

Place your hand on the pavement.  If it is too hot to hold your hand on the pavement for 3 seconds, its too hot.

Options:  Buy booties for your dogs paws.  This will protect their pads from getting burnt and blistered.  Ruff Wear makes a great boot for dogs.  You can purchase online or at your favorite pet store.

If you don’t have boots for your dogs, I recommend walking them in the shade as much as possible, keep them on grass or mulch.  Take breaks in shady spots and pay attention to their breathing.  Heavy panting is a sign they are getting overheated.  Allow them to rest in the shade until their breathing slows down.

Water – Stay Hydrated20150707_Bailey

Carry a water bottle with you.  Wet down their underside to help them cool down.  Don’t use ice cold water, room temperature is best.  Collapsible water bowls for pets are handy too.  After the walk they can cool down by laying in a kiddie pool just as Bailey enjoys doing!



Know the signs of heat stroke.

  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated body temperature of 104 degrees
  • Heart Rate over 160 bpm for small dogs & 100 for medium to large dogs. (check your dogs normal heart rate at rest)
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Weakness
  • Bloody Diarrhea

Black dogs absorb more of the heat and can over heat faster.

White dogs are susceptible to sunburn. Use a baby sunscreen for their nose.

If you suspect your dog is having a heatstroke, transport to the vet immediately.

Our team at Hillsboro Dog Walkers will practice these smart methods while walking your dogs this summer.  If it is approaching 90 degrees and your neighborhood doesn’t provide shade, we will be taking them out briefly to “do their business”.  If you have a back yard with shade we can play with them outdoors for a bit and then spend time indoors where it is cool.

Currently, we walk 10 – 15 dogs each day so getting everyone out before the hottest part of the day would be a challenge if not impossible. We prioritize the earlier visits for the elderly dogs, flat nose breeds, puppies and our fur clients with health issues.

Let’s have a great summer everyone and keep our pets safe.



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